Results of the 2007 AA Membership Survey of Alcoholics Anonymous confirm growing trust and transparency in the relationships between alcoholics and their health caregivers – doctors, nurses, counsellors and others – who, in turn, appear to be more informed about A.A.
- 74% of members’ doctors know they are in A.A., and
- 39% of members said they had been referred to A.A. by a health care professional.
- 63% said they had received some type of treatment or counselling before coming to A.A., and, of these,
- 74% said it had played an important part in directing them to Alcoholics Anonymous.
The typical A.A. member
- has been sober more than 8 years,
- attends an average of 2.4 meetings a week
- 85% belong to a home group.
The percentage of women in A.A., which climbed steadily from 22% in 1968 to 33% in 2007, is holding, after a minor dip or two, at that figure.
Random anonymous surveys have been conducted by the General Service Office of A.A., New York City, about every three years since 1968. Their main purpose has been to keep A.A.s informed about current trends in membership characteristics and to provide information about the Fellowship to the professional community and the general public as part of the ongoing effort to help those who suffer from alcoholism.
Questionnaires for the latest 2007 survey were completed by approximately 8,000 U.S. & Canadian members, ranging in age from teens to 70 plus years.
Some other findings:
Length of Sobriety –
- 33% of respondents say they have been sober more than 10 years; and
- 12%, 5-10 years.
- 24% say they have been sober from 1-5 years and
- 31%, less than one year.
The percentage of members who are sponsored (by another A.A. has held steady over the years and is now 79%; of these, 73% said they had connected with their sponsors within their first 90 days in A.A.
Introduction to A.A. -
In this category, which addresses the factors most responsible for members coming to A.A., the number of respondents who said they had been referred by a health care professional was 39%, as noted. Respondents were free to cite two reasons. Those who said they had been self-motivated were 31%. Other factors cited:
- referred by a treatment facility, 33%;
- through an A.A. member, 33%;
- through family influence, 24%;
- by court order, 11%;
- through a counselling agency, 8%;
- by a health care provider, 7%;
- by an employer or fellow worker, 4%, and
- correctional facility, 3%
- referred by a member of the clergy, 1%.
Additional Help -
After coming to A.A., 63% of the members received some type of medical treatment or counselling. Of these, 86% said it had played an important part in their recovery.
Ages of Members -
Reflecting the general aging of the population, the average age of A.A. members seems to climb a digit or two with each survey and is now 48, as noted, with those
- aged Under 21, 2.3%
- aged 21 – 30, 11.3%
- aged 31 – 40, 16.5%
- aged 41-50, 28.5%;
- aged 51 – 60, 23.8%
- 61-70, 12.3%;
- over 70, 5.3%.
There was considerable growth in the younger age groups. In 2004 those under 21 constituted 1.5%; and aged 21-30, 7.9%.
Key findings of the 2007 survey are available in an updated version of the leaflet “Alcoholics Anonymous 2007 Membership Survey.” To order, write to the General Service Office, Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163. The pamphlet can be found online in the Media Resources section of the A.A. Web site, www.aa.org.